Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What will Satisfy

Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor the left; turn your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27
I have found a joy that has never let me down! God's truths, His words, His story has brought me comfort, given me peace, filled me to overflowing with thankfulness and love! I can't get enough! 
I am so worn out and tired after a long day then, to end my night right, I find myself fighting with my four year old to brush his teeth before he goes to bed (the evil mother that I am to make her child brush his teeth). Exhausted and alone, I have no person to comfort me, no one to sympathize with me or hug me. So I turn on my computer to check my e-mail only to find junk mail. But wait, there waiting for me on my google home page is my Streams in the Desert Devotional and rushing waters come fill me up, there is nothing like it! I love words! Words are so powerful, so thought provoking and life changing. 
How scary to think that we have the power to fill ourselves with whatever we want! Our society is so connected! We have total access to all of the world right in the palm of our hands! What do we search for? What do we fill ourselves with? Hours upon hours of mindless T.V. or video games. Waiting for something? No problem just hand me my handy little i-phone and I'll conduct business, play games, watch movies, listen to music, post a status update on facebook, even meet singles on a dating web site all at the same time. We have everything our hearts could desire right at our finger tips. So why are we still searching? What else could there possibly be that we don't already have an app for? Do you really need me to answer that for you? I tried to be filled by the things of this world to no avail. There is absolutely nothing in this whole world that has satisfied me like the Truth. God's true story of creation and His over the top romantic love for us all! Trust me, I never thought I would ever say those words! I have heard people testify of God's unfailing love but I always thought they were a bit nutty. Until I experienced it for myself. You'll never understand me until you step out in faith and give God your unsatisfied heart and trust Him with it! A word of caution though, this life isn't for everyone. Only the weakest, most helpless and destitute of sinners can walk this road! Because where we are weak He is strong! Are you ready to sell all you have and give it to the poor and come and follow Him?

I wanna live like that! <<<< Listen to this!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Work of Believing

 "Jesus answered and said to them, this is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:29)

I was thinking about God and suffering and our thoughts and life in general. What are we here for? What is the point to all this suffering? Some sufferings we can't control but there are other sufferings that we fall into with our choices. One thing I've seen is how we can so easily believe a lie, or just simply ignore Gods truths. When Kenny was first diagnosed with cancer I was in shock! My mind was a big giant target for lies from the enemy, I hadn't had much field experience with trusting God yet. The biggest lie I was hit with will take some back story so bear with me.

I was so proud of myself for working so hard at being a good and godly wife to my husband for an entire year! My tutor had instructed me in the truth that, 'The only person you can change is yourself, so stop praying for God to change your husband and except him the way he is and pray that God would change your heart instead.' If only I had listened and worked at believing that, I could have saved myself from the gut wrenching lie that stuck with me for too long.

On the night of Kenny's Papa's memorial service, after a day of sadness and confusion, I was emotionally exhausted! I needed to talk to Kenny about the day and things that had happened. I just needed some refreshing and my mind told me the only one who could do that for me right then and there was my husband. Well that night, which I will never forget, was the night I decided to IGNORE God's truth that He is enough for me. I went into our bed room and asked Kenny, who was already laying down, if he would please talk to me. He said sure and propped himself up a little, but as I talked he shut his eyes and fell asleep. I was so mad! I thought how selfish of him to value sleep over talking to his emotional wife. I yelled something at him and walked out of the room. I took my pillow with me to the couch and thought to myself, if he cares he will come out here and apologize and talk to me. I lay there for quite a while talking to God about all the hard work I had put into rebuilding our fragile marriage. I thought, "this is how I am rewarded for doing what is right?" "WHY GOD! Why have you given me this difficult husband who doesn't care about me? Why am I here? I know I am not supposed to pray to You to fix my husband but, FIX MY HUSBAND!" The very next day Kenny had a grand mal seizure and we learned about the cancer.

Right then and there, out of my choice to not believe the truth, to put down my shield of faith, came the attack by the enemy, the lie that was shot directly at me and hit me and sunk in, deeply wounding me. This was my fault! I prayed for God to fix my husband and now I am being punished. I was ungrateful and now Kenny was going to die because of me! Looking back I can't believe I believed that! Why did I believe that obvious lie from the enemy? Because, though I had done a lot of good works in the previous year, I lacked one very important work, "the work of believing!" To do a good work is as simple as breathing, we just do it. In James 2:26 it says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." I had the opposite problem, I could do works but my faith was dead. I was a stubborn stiff necked 'do-good-er.' A pharisee to the core! I believed I could be good enough for God. I believed that there was partiality and I could be loved by God more than someone else. I didn't even know that yucky belief was rooted in me!  Lets face it in this land of abundance doing good is not the problem, the problem we have is "believing in Him whom He sent."

Lies are so easy to believe! Have you seen Madagascar 2? OK don't laugh but I have a tendency to relate spiritual truths to cartoons. So in the movie the animals are all in this plane when one of the pilot's (a penguin)  notifies the captain about a blinking red light. They decide to ignore the warning signals and smash the blinking red light and call the problem solved. But that doesn't stop the plane from going down. My point, ignorance is not bliss! There are many warning signs in life that warn us we are all going down! Sicknesses and deaths bring that reality to the front of our minds. We will all die and all of us have to give an account before God. You wont be able to say, "but God wasn't I good enough?" You can't say, "Wait I didn't know my time was going to be up." You can't say, "You didn't warn me about hell." You can't say, "God I always believed in you," when you did nothing to work at believing. Remember James 2:26 from the last paragraph? Faith without works is dead! And if that's not convincing enough for you James 2:19, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demon's believe- and tremble!" God gives us all, especially here in the United States of America, plenty of warnings and chances to repent. Then once we do our work is to believe in Him whom He sent! How? By reading His word, by being apart of a bible teaching church, by praying to Him daily, by working out our own salvation with fear and trembling as it states in Philippians chapter 2 at the end of verse 12.

What are we striving for any ways, the next pay check, the next promotion, that boat we've been saving for? All those things wont save us! All those things wont go with us when we die. God lets us have good things to enjoy while we are here but lets not mix up our priorities! A wise friend once told me the only thing you take with you when you go is your faith! How much faith have you been working on?

Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." How freeing it is to know that God sees us all the same! We have all sinned and therefore all deserve condemnation. But in His great love and mercy He sent His perfect and Holy blameless Son to die in our place. He so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The believing part is the hard work! But God gives us a life time to figure it out. We don't know how long "a life time" will be for us so lets not role the dice!

God is good! He taught me how to live. Then He told me to trust Him, which took me a lot longer to do (issues). Then He showed me His love for me, which was with me all along I just wasn't paying attention. As I look back now I see how personal and caring God is towards me. He is that way with everyone, but only those who WORK at believing in Him whom He sent will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living.

Jesus Paid It All

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothers Day

There are some here who come from good homes with happy memories, but there are others who’s memories of home bring no tender thoughts. Families have the potential to be so full of joy and love, but there are those who struggle and fall apart too often. Holidays are supposed to be a time to rejoice with your family. Mothers day especially is a day to celebrate the one who nurtured and raised up her children in love. But what if that’s not your story, what if yours is entirely unique and family to you is not who you’d think. But don’t get down no don’t you frown for there is a God in heaven who loves better times seven.

The Father Loved His daughter.
The daughter being new,
Didn’t think it to be true.
She looked all around
But no true love could be found
She cried and she wept
While bitterness she kept
In a fallen land
She found it hard to stand
Not equipped for battle
Led astray like cattle
The Father waited patiently
As she struggled vainly
Be content to know Me He said
But thoughts of selfishness filled her head
It took many years for her to see
All she really needed to be
Was content with the One
Who gave His Only Son.
He is enough it’s true
For me and for you
If we would listen we would see
That He meant us all to be
Desperately devoted to
The God who made me and you.

Hebrews 13:5-8 should sink deep in our souls. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, what can man do to me?” Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

No human can love like God! Our parents will let us down our children will let us down. The sooner we see that all we need is our Lord and Savior the happier we will be. Stop striving to find contentment in relationships of any kind! God alone gives us what we need!

Trust is a hard thing to earn! But we can trust our hearts to God! He lovingly created us, knowing we would turn away from His love. Then He sent His perfect and Holy Blameless son to die on the cross for our sins. That is a love we will never fully comprehend! God is a safe place to fall. He is always willing to forgive if we ask. And we’ve all done some pretty stupid things that have caused pain in others. We know how valuable forgiveness is when we’ve been denied it by the ones we love.

Let those of us who are searching for love Find it in God. And be content with that! God gives good gifts to the ones he loves and I know because even though I didn’t have the mother daughter relationship I desired as a child He gave it to me through Naomi Bostwick and Jenny and friends and an entire church family who’s love shone so brightly through the most difficult trial of my life!!! Let those of you who know the truth speak it out Loud! Encourage one another. We are the body of Christ. We are the light of the world so the lonely can see that He lives in us and He is enough.

Pray for each other and love one another as Christ loved us. And may I challenge you to forget any preconceived ideas of what you think love is. Read 1 Corinthians 13, pray about it, meditate on it, everyday! That is the kind of love Christ is calling us to share!!! Not this wishy washy romantic idea we think is love. 
Lord thank you for Your example of love teach us to love like You do. Let us be Your light to the hurt and lonely, to the lost and alone. Thank You for your sacrifice and for Your love that we are so unworthy of! Father let these words be our hope "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  Be in all we do or say, In Jesus name Amen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Great Expectatins

Do you ever just want to be understood? Ever long for someone to look at you in your weakest moment and say I understand? Oh I do!!! I am a weak sinner just like everyone else only I have an added curse. I have been through the fire on many occasions in my life due to other peoples sins. That is my added curse. The enemy has given me plenty of opportunities to blame my short comings on someone else. God's word says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), everyone, me included! But when I mess up or things get overwhelming my flesh wants to say, Lord I am this way because of such and such.

Maybe you can relate to that. So what are we to do when that happens? Well, we come to a CROSS roads and we have a choice to make. Will we continue to let other peoples sins of the past cripple us, or will we lay down our pains and ask God to heal our hurts and help us to rise above what makes us weak?
I lost my temper this morning at my children. I yelled because we were running late for school. My phrase to them over and over was, "you make me crazy!" I thought about how hard my life is now that I am a single mother and how unfair it is of God to take away my husband who is half responsible for these children and leave me to handle everything. All the cleaning, all the cooking, all the worrying, all the bed time routines, all the crying, all the planning, all the failing, all the sicknesses, all the responsibility is all mine now.

Yuck, who is that whinny person in that last paragraph? Where did all that come from anyways? Ah yes from my..."Great expectations". We all have them. We all think about how great it would be if only so and so understood me, or if I could just be self sufficient then I wouldn't need help from anyone! I expect greatness in myself and in my friends and family (no pressure guys) even in my very young children. Praise the Lord God knows our frame! He knows we are just dust and He says, "Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28). He never expects us to have it all figured out! He never says to me handle this all! I say it to myself and the enemy makes me think I should be able to handle everything and that other people should understand me and know how best to help me. Forgive me! How wrong of me to think like that.

God loves me, so much that when life overwhelms me He says, "Tell me about it." And when I need more strength He gives it to me. When I need forgiveness for something stupid I've said or done He gives it to me. When I make the same mistakes over and over again for years and years knowing God has shown me the way to over come these mistakes and choosing instead to repeat the sins of the past, God still loves me and waits patiently for me to come to Him. God listens when I cry and He never says OK that's enough I can't stand your crying. Though I have probably said that to my kids before. Ouch!

Such love, who can know it? So what does that have to do with my expectations? Well perhaps I was just placing these "Great Expectations" on mere mortals when there is a God who can live up to all of my greatest expectations?

God thank You for your word! Thank You that when I have a bad day I can come to You and receive rest and comfort and strength and forgiveness and peace. What a great love you share so freely with us.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Rise Up <<<< Click here to hear some awesome encouragement by Thrid day.